Dartmouth women’s lacrosse among spring teams returning to action

  • Dartmouth College goaltender Kiera Vrindten and defender Natalee Palmer confront Boston University shooter Makenzie Irvine during the teams' nonleague game Saturday at Scully-Fahey Field. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College women's lacrosse coach Alex Frank shows her approval after the Big Green forced a turnover Saturday against Boston University at Scully-Fahey Field. Frank is in her first year as a head coach after assistant's roles at Colorado and Boston College. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College defenders Riley Ricciardi (34) and Clair Marshall (8) push Boston University attacker Lauren Kaye back from the Big Green goal Saturday at Scully-Fahey Field. The hosts won the nonleague matchup, 16-8. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news file — Tris Wykes

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/17/2022 8:47:59 PM
Modified: 2/18/2022 10:00:05 PM

HANOVER — The COVID-19 pandemic could not have hit at a worse time two years ago for the Dartmouth College women’s lacrosse team, which was off to a 5-0 start in 2020 under first-year head coach Alex Frank.

The former Northwestern standout had taken over for another Wildcats legend, Danielle Spencer, who had accepted the head coaching job at Stanford. The Big Green were ranked No. 15 and had wins over No. 13 Massachusetts and No. 5 Florida under their belt when the season was abruptly canceled.

When Dartmouth opens the 2022 season at in-state rival New Hampshire on Saturday, it will mark 714 days since the Big Green’s last non-exhibition game. With the Ivy League canceling all sports for the 2020-21 academic year, only the seniors have a complete season under their belts.

“We haven’t adjusted too much,” Frank said. “We’re on the field a lot, trying to explain game management and how to control things. When you’re actually playing a game, it is a lot harder to read the clock and understand, and without that experience, it can be challenging. So we’re trying to put them in game-like situations in practice as much as we can.”

Dartmouth’s strong start to 2020 followed a 2019 season in which the Big Green won a share of the Ivy League title and made the NCAA tournament, losing in the first round to a Colorado team that employed Frank as an assistant coach. Expectations are high for Dartmouth to again be in the mix for a conference championship this year — the Big Green were picked to finish third in the preseason poll behind Princeton and Penn.

Frank anticipates senior Anna Griffith and junior Katie Elders to lead Dartmouth offensively. Griffith played sparingly as a freshman and sophomore but is moving from midfield to attack this year, and Frank had high praise for her leadership ability and knowledge of the game. Elders started three of her team’s five games as a freshman, scoring her first career goal against UMass and recording two assists against Boston University.

On defense, the Big Green will rely on seniors Jazmyne Ward and Emma Macaione. Ward had a goal and an assist in Dartmouth’s final 2020 game before the season’s cancellation, while Macaione caused two turnovers in 2020. The Big Green have four goalies on their roster — one in each class — but Frank said the underclassmen, sophomore Tamer Luzi and freshman Gisele Todd, are atop the depth chart.

“They both have shown really well in practice,” Frank said.

“They are fortunate that our senior goalkeeper, Becca Wade, while she may not necessarily be as strong in the Xs and Os categories, her leadership has been incredible. She’s mentored the two younger ones so well, and we look forward to seeing what they’re able to do for us.”

Dartmouth will prepare for Ivy League play with a challenging non-conference schedule. The Big Green head to Stony Brook, which reached the NCAA quarterfinals last year, on Feb. 27, and they also have daunting road tests against Northwestern, currently ranked in the top five, and defending champion and unanimous No. 1 Boston College.

“I am a huge proponent of playing against the best teams you can play,” Frank said. “All of our non-conference games are what’s going to help us fight in the Ivy League. They’re setting us up. You always want to make sure you’re giving your players the opportunity to compete against the best, and that’s what we tried to do this season.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy